As the title implies we will be taking a look at our Big East opponents and what they will be looking like heading into the coming season.
If you were paying any attention to Providence last year you know that the non-conference was a dumpster fire. Their final non-con record was 7-6 and featured losses to Penn, Long Beach State, and College of Charelston and featured wins against Texas(?) and basically no one else. The Friars opened Big East play at 3-0 but eventually slid 4-4 off a 3 game losing streak. They then won at Butler and home against Creighton to boost their resume. A couple losses put them back at .500 before the Friars rattled off 6 in a row to close the season and finish 12-6. This run included wins over Setong Hall, Villanova and Xavier and, if they won a game at the Big East Tournament, they would have almost certainly brought the season all the way back from the dead.
The Friars lose Alpha Diallo, Luwane Pipkins, Khalif Young, Maliek White and Emmitt Holt. Diallo led the team in scoring and rebounding while also leading in usage. Luwane Pipkins caught fire when the Friars made their late season push but he also struggled with shooting the ball efficiently. White scored decntly as an extra option, Holt and Yound both played limited minuted but both rebounded well.
David Duke is the key returner for the Friars. He scored 12ppg while also leading the team in assists and shooting 42% from 3. In addition to the good stats, Duke ran the offense well on the Friars late season run and he also plays good on ball defense, averaging 1.5spg. Nate Watson (the guy Jason Carter punched on twice) also returns as the best returning rebounder and will probably hop up in usage again this year. AJ Reeves did a little bit of everything last season but will definitely need to improve his shooting percentages. Greg Gantt comes back and his biggest improvement will need to be his haircut.
A few transfers will look to slot straight in to the Friars lineup. Noah Horchler transfers from North Florida and brings in 16ppg and 9rpg. Providence loses a lot of rebounding and Horchler should help solve at least some of that issue. The other big transfer is Jared Bynum who will have 3 seasons with the Friars. Bynum plays as a guard and shoots the 3 decently. The last transfer is Brycen Goodine who comes in from Syracuse where his playing time was very limited but he should get more burn at Providence.
David Duke and the incoming transfers will be at the center of whatever happens for the Friars this year. They don’t return a lot of scoring or rebounding but they will have one of the best guards in the conference as well as decent bigs in Horchler and Watson. Even in their worst seasons Providence is a good defensive team so this team’s success will come down to how well their offense can execute.